PrePlay Sports

Predictive gaming for sports fans.

Predictive gaming for sports fans.

Platform: Mobile – Publisher: PrePlay

PrePlay Sports was the #1 live sports prediction game for smartphones and tablets from 2010 to 2015, allowing users to predict every play of every game, year-round.
As an official partner of MLB, NHL, CBS Sports, US Open, and Bleacher Report (for the FIFA World Cup 2014), we engaged fans in countless hours of live prediction contests that deepened fan engagement, extended TV tune-in, and provided value to corporate sponsors.

The other day, I decided I was going to try the app out, while watching the bottom of the eight inning of a Blue Jays @ Rays game, a game I cared virtually nothing about. I ended up watching until the end of the game, constantly playing MLB PrePlay.

My Role

  • I spent 3 years defining the vision of the product, as well as designing both the game systems and the user experience.
  • I led a multi-disciplinary team of a dozen developers, designers, and artists (iOS, Android, front- and back-end web) as Product Owner in a metrics-informed Agile workflow, in direct contact with PrePlay's CEO and Stakeholders.
  • I used RGD methods to analyze the difficulty and pacing of the game and provide a more satisfying experience, using the existing data from the previous version of the product.

Key Takeaways

  • Sports are a fantastic lens into a people's cultures. Learning all about the MLB, NFL, and NHL, and getting to learn, absorb, and understand the motivations, interests, habits, and customs of their audiences was extremely challenging, yet fascinating.
  • Having technology that performs too well can sometimes be a bad thing, depending on the context. We quickly became much faster in broadcasting new game information than the TV networks, actively spoiling people watching the game on TV. When we noticed this issue, we immediately implemented a delay.
  • Sometimes, I can’t compromise my beliefs for work. Specifically, NASCAR was too conflicting with my personal belief system. In Q3 2014, PrePlay was acquired by FanVision to develop NASCAR products with our IP and underlying technology. After experiencing it first-hand at a race in Charlotte, NC, I left the company as I didn't feel comfortable working on this new project.

Proudest Moments

  • The tech was so good, the experience so groundbreaking for new users that in the early days people thought it was almost magic, reminiscing of the great Arthur C. Clarke quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  • Rebuilding the apps from the ground up successfully, with a clear product vision and a modern design system.
  • Designing a fully responsive web bracket game for the FIFA World Cup 2014, and delivering it on time and budget for thousands of users to enjoy.
  • Adding a fictional narrative layer on PrePlay's very systemic gameplay, which helped onboard users and engage them even more.
Paul Vauvrey

Paul Vauvrey